Governor Nasir El-Rufai has fired 19 political appointees in the state as part of his administration’s move to “rightsize” the public service in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communications Muyiwa Adekeye announced the development in a statement on Wednesday.
Two special advisers, one deputy chief of staff and several special assistants are among those affected by the decision, which followed the recent controversial layoffs in the state that led to the now-suspended industrial action by organised labour in the state last week.
The Deputy Chief of Legislative Staff, Bala Yunusa Mohammed; and two of his special assistants – Halima Musa Nagogo and Umar Abubakar – were among those fired.
Also sacked were Ben Kure (Special Adviser on Politics) and his special assistants – Mustapha Lynda Nyusha and Jamilu Gwarzala Dan Mutum, as well as Umar Haruna, a Special Assistant on Politics.
Others are the Special Adviser (Social Development), Zainab Shehu; Special Assistant to the Special Adviser, Stephen Hezron; Senior Special Assistant (Stakeholders Relations), Mohammed Bello Shuaibu; and the Senior Special Assistant on Youth, Aliyu Haruna.
The Special Assistant Creative Arts, Halima Idris; the Director-General of Public Procurement Authority, Engr Aliyu Alhaji Salihu; Special Assistant Community Relations; Ashiru Zuntu, and a Senior Special Assistant, Saida Sa’ad, were affected as well.
Also on the list are the Special Assistant Programmes, Elias Yahaya; Special Assistant to the Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Tasiu Suleiman Yakaii; the Special Assistant on Economic Matters, Samuel Hadwayah; and the Senior Special Assistant Environment, Ahmed Mohammed Gero.
The governor thanked the departing officials for their services to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami after several reports portrayed his past extreme religious views.
Pantami had for the first time acknowledged his past views but noted that he has since renounced those radical assertions.
According to Pantami, the past radical ideas he was championing were due to age, immaturity, and limited knowledge.
But the PDP in a statement issued on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, asked the Department of State Service to quiz the Minister.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda,” the statement partly read.
“The party also demands that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately sack the minister, given the sensitivity of the issue at stake.”
The main opposition party explained that its position “is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister, who has access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles.”
It also expressed worry about “allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the NIN registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.”
While urging Nigerians to remain alert and very sensitive to their environment, the PDP said the masses should not hesitate in providing useful information to our security agencies in the interest of our nation.
“A Superintendent of Police was also dismissed for conspiring with four others to vandalize a transformer and stealing. The Commission also directed that the Officer should be prosecuted.
“The two other dismissed officers included a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)and an Assistant Superintendent of Police.”
The PSC spokesman explained that the DSP led a team that intercepted three Mercedes Benz trucks conveying about 300,000 live cartridges believed to have been smuggled across the border from the Benin Republic.
SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
PSC DISMISSES FOUR SENIOR POLICE OFFICERS OVER SERIOUS MISCONDUCT AND ACTS UNBECOMING OF PUBLIC OFFICERS; REDUCES THE RANKS OF TWO
The Police Service Commission has dismissed four senior Police Officers over cases of serious misconduct and acts unbecoming of public officers. The Commission also reduced in rank two other Officers while also handing punishments of severe reprimand and reprimand to four others (two each).
The Commission took these decisions at its 10th. Plenary Meeting presided over by Commission Chairman, Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police and which came to an end on Friday, December 18th, 2020.
A Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, was dismissed for discreditable conduct, dishonesty and act unbecoming of a public Officer while a Superintendent of Police was also dismissed for conspiring with four others to vandalize a transformer and stealing. The Commission also directed that the Officer should be prosecuted.
The two other dismissed Officers are a Deputy Superintendent of Police and an Assistant Superintendent of Police. The DSP was said to have led a team that intercepted three Mercedes Benz trucks conveying about 300,000 live cartridges believed to have been smuggled across the border from Benin Republic into Nigeria. The team was said to have impounded the trucks at base for three days but made no entries nor a situation report of the arrest relayed. The DSP rather raised a fake letter purporting to escort the vehicles and suspects to Federal SARS Lagos with the dubious intention of ensuring their unlawful release. Luck however ran out of the team when they were intercepted at a Military checkpoint where soldiers on duty insisted on verifying the contents of the trucks. The DSP and his team were said to have abandoned the trucks and fled.
The ASP was dismissed for misappropriation, action prejudicial to the security of the state; sabotage; dishonesty and act unbecoming of a public officer.
The Commission also treated several appeals and petitions.
The Commission had also during the Plenary Meeting approved the promotion of four Assistant Inspectors General of Police to the substantive rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police.
The new DIGs are expected to represent their geo-political zones in the Police Management Team.
The new DIGs are AIG Usman Alkali Baba, currently acting DIG Administration; AIG. Dan Mallam Mohammed, AIG in charge of Zone 13 Ukpo, Anambra State; AIG David Oyebanji Folawiyo, AIG in charge of Zone 17, Akure and CP. Joseph Egbunike, CP, Budget.
Thirteen Commissioners of Police were elevated to the rank of AIG, twenty-three Deputy Commissioners to CP, twenty-nine Assistant Commissioners to DCP, ninety-one Chief Superintendents to Assistant Commissioners including CSP Bello Dankal DPO, Bagwai Division, Kano State and five hundred and ninety-nine Superintendents promoted to CSPs which also included the Police Public Relations Officer, Anambra State, SP Haruna Mohammed and SP Umar Adekunle Fagbemi 2i/c SIB, Rivers State.
The management of Bristow Helicopters Limited has terminated the appointment of 100 pilots.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company said the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated its decision to lay off workers.
While describing the sacking as painful, the airline’s management said the move was inevitable in order to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients.
“This decision has not been made lightly, but having considered the state of the business and the very serious constraints caused by the spread of the COVID-19 disease and the downturn in the oil and gas market, the company must now take this painful, but decisive step to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients,” the statement partly read.
“One of these measures includes the right-sizing of the business to ensure that the company has the optimal level of personnel to continue the safe delivery of its services to its clients, whilst allowing the appropriate capacity for future growth.
“Accordingly, and with much regret, the company has taken the very difficult decision to release over 100 pilots and engineers (both National and Expatriates) over the next couple of weeks.”
This comes barely 24 hours after Air Peace sacked scores of pilots across its fleet while slashing staff salaries by up to 40 percent.
According to the airline’s spokesman, Mr. Stanley Olise, the retrenchment, and shedding of workers were not unlinked with the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been intensifying calls for Mapangou to resign in recent days in the press and from civil society groups in the aftermath of the theft of hundreds of seized containers of kevazingo, a rare wood considered sacred.
Nearly 5,000 cubic metres (177,000 cubic feet) of kevazingo worth some 7 million euros ($7.8 million) was found in two depots belonging to Chinese companies in the Libreville port of Owendo in February and March.
Several suspects were arrested, but 353 of the containers — which had been confiscated — mysteriously disappeared.
The wood had allegedly been loaded into containers bearing water and forestry ministry labels, falsely describing it as okoume — a kind of timber cleared for export.
Local media have called the scandal “kevazingogate”.
Earlier in May, the government said several top Gabonese officials had been suspended over suspected involvement in smuggling the precious timber.
Kevazingo is a rare central African wood that is prized in Asia, notably for sculpting into temple doorways, tea tables and meeting tables.
Gabon, three quarters of whose land mass is forested, last year banned the exploitation of kevazingo after illegal felling reached alarming proportions.
The industry is hugely important for the West African nation’s economy, supporting some 17,000 jobs, and is second only to the petroleum sector in terms of foreign earnings and accounts for 60 per cent of non-oil related GDP.
Eusebio Di Francesco has been sacked as Roma coach after the team crashed out of the Champions League, the Italian club confirmed on Thursday.
Roma had taken a 2-1 advantage to Porto for the second leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday but fell 4-3 on aggregate after a controversial penalty awarded following a VAR review deep into extra time.
“AS Roma can confirm head coach Eusebio Di Francesco has left the club with immediate effect,” the team said in a statement.
“The club would like to thank Eusebio for his work during his time at AS Roma and wish him success in the future.”
An urgent meeting had been called on Thursday afternoon in Rome between the club’s top officials to discuss Di Francesco’s future.
Club president Jim Pallotta later said: “On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I’d like to thank Eusebio for his work and his commitment.
“Since returning to the club, Eusebio has always acted professionally and put the club’s needs ahead of his own. We all wish him well for the future.”
Former Sassuolo boss Di Francesco took over in June 2017.
A former Roma midfielder, he had helped the team to their last Serie A title as a player in 2001.
The 49-year-old led Roma to the Champions League semi-finals last season for the first time since 1984, following an epic 3-0 comeback against Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
“Di Francesco will remain the coach who took Roma to the Champions League semi-finals after who knows how many years and he deserves credit for that,” said captain Daniele De Rossi.
“I know this isn’t our best season and the job of a coach will always be tied to results.”
The club finished third last season but this campaign has been marked by struggles with Di Francesco apologising to fans but refusing to resign after a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals last month.
Roma are now fifth in Serie A, three points off the Champions League berths for next season, after falling 3-0 last weekend to bitter city rivals Lazio.
Ranieri, who memorably guided Leicester City to the 2016 Premier League title before being sacked the following season, coached Roma from September 2009 to February 2011.
The 67-year-old Italian’s brief spell as manager of Premier League strugglers Fulham ended last month after only four months in charge.
“Ranieri is ready,” wrote Gazzetta Dello Sport, adding that the former Roma boss was expected to travel to the Italian capital from London by Friday at the latest.
Other reported contenders are former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and his Stamford Bridge successor Maurizio Sarri.
Ranieri has had a long coaching career in Italy with clubs including Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli. He coached French club Nantes before taking over at Fulham in November 2018, only to be sacked on February 28.
During his time in charge of Roma, he oversaw 84 matches — winning 47, with 16 draws and 21 defeats.
Di Francesco has coached Roma for 87 games with 46 victories, 18 draws and 23 defeats.
The Champions League exit, however, was the final straw for American businessman Pallotta who had raged at VAR after the defeat.
The tie hinged on a decision by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir to point to the spot late in extra time upon reviewing an incident in which Alessandro Florenzi hauled back Porto forward Fernando.
Alex Telles converted the spot-kick, and Roma were then denied a penalty at the other end following a review after Patrik Schick tumbled to the ground.
“Last year we asked for VAR in the Champions League because we got screwed in the semi-final and tonight, they’ve got VAR and we still get robbed,” said Pallotta on Twitter.
“Patrik Schick was clearly clipped in the box, VAR shows it, and nothing is given. I’m tired of this crap. I give up.”
Leicester announced the sacking of manager Claude Puel on Sunday following the struggling Premier League side’s sixth defeat in seven games.
Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace dropped the 2015/2016 champions to 12th, only eight points above the relegation places.
A statement released by the club said: “Leicester City Football Club has today (Sunday) parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as first team manager with immediate effect.”
The first team coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler will assume caretaking responsibilities.
“The club would like to thank Claude for his efforts in leading the team during his 16 months in the role and wish him well in his future career,” the club added.
Puel’s assistant manager Jacky Bonnevay has also been let go.
The 57-year-old Puel is the fifth English topflight manager to be sacked this season, following Slavisa Jokanovic from Fulham, Mark Hughes (Southampton), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United) and David Wagner (Huddersfield).
The Foxes’ miserable run includes a defeat to League Two side Newport in the FA Cup.
Their dip in form followed a promising period over Christmas when they beat both Chelsea and Manchester City, their last home success on Boxing Day.
Their last win was on New Year’s Day, with Jamie Vardy scoring the goal in a 1-0 victory at Everton.
The Midlands side have endured a traumatic season with the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others in a helicopter crash outside the club’s King Power stadium in October.
Puel took over from Craig Shakespeare at Leicester in October 2017 after a year-long spell in charge of Southampton.
The Frenchman steadied the ship and eventually led the side to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League.
He was backed by the club’s board last summer, spending money on the likes of James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, Rachid Ghezzal and Caglar Soyuncu as he aimed to change Leicester’s style of play.
However, the Frenchman’s approach came under fire from fans, especially his use of Jamie Vardy – with the former England striker also publicly questioning his manager’s tactics and training regime.
Celtic manager and former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is reported to be among the front-runners to replace Puel in the summer, with the club set to install an interim manager for the remaining 11 matches of the season.
Paul Clement has been sacked by Reading after less than nine months in charge, the English Championship club announced on Thursday.
The Royals are outside the relegation zone on goal difference after winning just four of their 20 league games so far this season.
“Reading Football Club can announce that Paul Clement has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect,” said a club statement.
“Clement was appointed towards the end of March and earned two victories and a final day draw in Cardiff which proved enough to secure the club its Championship status at the end of a challenging 2017/18 campaign.
“However, following five wins in the first 22 league and cup matches of 2018/19, owners Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai have made the difficult decision that the time is now right to make a change.”
Former Derby and Swansea manager Clement, 46, signed a three-year deal when he replaced Jaap Stam in March.
President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Sri Lanka’s parliament Friday hours after his party announced he did not have a majority to get his prime minister nominee through the legislature, a minister said.
Sirisena signed an official notification dismissing the 225-member assembly with effect from midnight, clearing the way for a snap election nearly two years ahead of schedule, the minister said asking not to be named.
“The election is likely to be held in early January,” the minister told AFP after the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said they were eight legislators short of a majority in the 225-member assembly that remains suspended.
The Kaduna State Government has disengaged over 4, 000 workers from the state local service commission as part of the public service renewal and revitalisation agenda of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Jafaru Sani said today, November 28, that the decision to lay off the workers is to cut down overhead cost and reposition the system for better performance.
He says 3,000 among the affected workers were retired while the remaining ones had their appointments terminated for one reason or the other.
The Commissioner also lamented a situation whereby only one out of the 23 local government areas in the state could meet up with its financial obligations of paying salaries or executing any project.
This development, according to him, informed the decision of the state government to restructure the local government system coupled the councils being overstaffed.
He further explained that all the affected workers will be paid their retirement benefits and other entitlements in line with civil service rules and guidelines.
British Airways has sacked the hostess who recorded a racist video in which she was seen ranting and insulting Nigerian passengers, MailOnline has reported.
Joanne Wickenden, 23-years-old, sparked outrage after she recorded the racist clip in her British Airways uniform before flying from London Heathrow to Abuja on Friday night.
After a two-hour meeting with bosses on Tuesday, MailOnline said she claims that the video which she uploaded via her Snapchat was ‘just a joke’, adding that she was set up by a British Airways colleague who recorded her and shared the clip.
In a statement on Tuesday, revealed by MailOnline, British Airways said, Wickenden no longer works with the airline as their staff are expected to be of utmost professionalism when representing the airline.
“She no longer works for British Airways. We expect the utmost professionalism from our staff when they are representing British Airways.”
MailOnline reported that 23-year-old Wickenden, who wants to be an actress, told her friends that she is not a racist.
“I am not a racist,” she said, claiming that the video was just “a joke.”
She told MailOnline that, I have been framed by another British Airline employee. They were encouraging me, egging me on to say things. They were recording me and sent it around to our friends, she said I don’t want to fly anymore.
A friend said that the other colleague wanted her to impersonate what goes on the flight.
A source told MailOnline that the video, which was captioned ‘I can’t cope with this flight’ – was circulated among ‘horrified’ British Airways cabin crew who are ‘very concerned’.